Friday, February 6th, 2009
Friday Flash How To: My Friday Flash Rules

So, back to the subject of Flash Fiction! (You can stop clapping now, I’m trying to get back on track, really.)

Over the last year of doing a weekly piece of flash fiction, I’ve come up with the following list of guidelines that I follow. By no means am I saying these are the rules for flash fiction, these just happen to be mine. Many of these are

Yank the Reader In
You only have a very limited number of words and you don’t have time to coax your reader into your world slowly and carefully. Instead you need to write words that reach out from the screen and yank the reader in. This can be strong action, emotion or even description but it MUST be compelling.

Keep it Simple
If you have a complex story idea, only use part of it for a flash fiction. There isn’t enough room to get really complex so focus on one aspect, one person or one relationship.

Be Strict on Word Count
If you set a word count limit, stick to it. It can be a challenge but it will actually teach you a lot about how to condense or tighten things so you can squeak in just one more paragraph or one more description.

Don’t Stop with a Whimper
Either write a true flash fiction (complete the story in the allotted word count) or leave the reader with a hook. Whatever you do, don’t just peter out and trail off.

Be Willing to Experiment
Friday Flashes are a great place to experiment with ideas, concepts and characters. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. You can hone great new skills by playing with them in these small flash projects.

Pay Attention to Feedback
Watch the reactions your various pieces of flash fiction get from readers. This is a great way to discover what resonates with your audience and you can use that information to help hone your other work.

Friday, January 16th, 2009
Friday Flash How To: What is it?

What is “Flash Fiction”?
“Flash Fiction” is a term that is thought to have originated with a 1992 anthology of the same name by James Thomas, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka. The definition given by the editors of that anthology were that the story had to be limited to two facing pages of a digest-sized magazine – so about 750 words.

There is, however, no universally accepted length for a flash fiction but most top out at 2,000 words. The common length stated seems to be 250-1,000 words.

Flash fiction is, however, supposed to be more of a complete story in the allotted length. It should have a beginning, a middle and an end.

Of course, this is not what I do :)

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Friday, January 9th, 2009
Flash Fiction – The How To Series

For the next few weeks, I plan on using Fridays to house a series of “How To” posts on Flash Fiction itself. What it is, my tips for writing it, things to remember when posting it and then some of my inspirations and what has happened/is happening to them. At the very end, I’ll talk a little about why I started writing flash fiction, why I started posting it, what it has done for me and what my plans are for my own flash fiction on this site.

If you have any particular questions or requests, leave a comment and let me know what they are so I can be sure and address them.

As an added enticement, at the end of the series, I’ll choose a winner who can then give me a set of 4 prompts and a sexuality choice and I’ll write a flash with it, 500 words minimum, up to 1500 as the muse takes me. I do well with challenges.

Rules to Enter:
I’ll randomly choose with a random number generator from all the commenters to this series.

You can have one drawing entry per post, you are welcome to comment more than once but to avoid spamming, only one will count. If I see posts of multiple “I want to be entered on the same post”, you still only get one entry and, if you happen to win, I may not be nice to you in the flash.

When you comment, make the commentor something I can recognize and refer to easily. More than one Anonymous becomes impossible to prove who is who. Email address (only I can see them) would be even better.

Winner will be announced the friday AFTER the last post in the series. All series posts will remain open until then.

Winner has ten days to respond to the comment that they won with their choices or I’ll choose another winner.